Guys Weekend in Las Vegas
For most of us, the notion of a weekend in Vegas likely conjures up fantasies of dancing with strangers on the crowded dance floor of a nightclub, pushing all-in at a smoky poker table, or downing yard-long frozen margaritas with swagger. Yes, these escapades might make for a legendary visit. But there’s more to Sin City than the stereotypical experiences of nightclubbing, gambling, and drinking ‘till your face falls off.
On a summer visit last year, I and my buddy and fellow travel writer, Spencer Spellman, experienced this first-hand. Our friends at Expedia asked Facebook followers where we should go, and they suggested we hit up one of the many “dayclubs” at pools up and down the Strip. So we did: the uber-exclusive Liquid Pool Lounge at Aria Resort & Casino. The day we visited, deejay-driven music was thumping. Bodies were swaying. Though the pool wasn’t clothing-optional—many of them are—we still had a blast. Not really sure why society considers bikinis as “clothing,” anyway.
During a more recent visit this past winter, we had another dose of beautiful people at Hyde, the newest ultra-lounge inside Bellagio Las Vegas. While most loungey-type places lack windows and generally feel like caverns of debauchery, this one opens up on the Fountains of Bellagio, giving it one of the best (and most exciting) views in town. One table, a tiny banquette, is at the center of the patio overlooking the spectacle. We heard that puppy goes for $10,000 a night. Considering neither of us hit the slots, Spence and I hit the bar instead.
After Hyde, we hit a different bar—this time one that, quite literally, exists inside a chandelier with more than 2 million crystals. The bar, (fittingly called) The Chandelier, is the centerpiece of the gaming and shopping floors inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. And the drinks! Mixology maven Mariena Mercer outdoes herself with new cocktails every season. When we visited, the menu included items such as the Cereal Killer, which blended cereal milk and Root Beer liqueur; the Fit to be Thai’ed, which was inspired by Tom Kha, traditional Thai soup; and the New Fashion, a deconstructed Old Fashioned poured over an ice sphere. Sure, we tried those. But I’m a traditionalist, which explains why my favorite was Mercer’s Negroni in a bottle.
The next day, on a dare, we ventured Downtown, to the heart of old Vegas, the Fremont Street Experience. Here, for $15 a piece, we took turns playing Superman, flying above the throngs below on a zipline at Flightlinez Fremont. Did the experience get my blood pumping? Absolutely. But was it a good idea after that plate of nachos and three beers? Most definitely not.
We ended our visit at a racetrack—the Las Vegas Mini Gran Prix, to be exact. At this go-kart Mecca northwest of the Strip, Spence and I climbed in mini-race cars and put our respective pedals to the metal. Over the course of two hours at the facility, we crashed into approximately 20 teenagers on the Sprint Kart Speedway, raced against the clock on the Gran Prix track, ate a ton of terrible pizza, and threw down over pop-a-shot.
There’s no disputing we were two grown men acting like 6-year-olds. But if that’s not a recipe for an epic Vegas trip, I’m not sure what is.